Marriott, workers settle San Francisco hotel strike
  • Tuesday, December 11, 2018
  • 78°

Hawaii News

Marriott, workers settle San Francisco hotel strike

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Hotel workers strike in front of a Marriott hotel Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018, in San Francisco. Thousands of housekeepers, cooks and other Marriott hotel workers are on strike in San Francisco and San Jose after months of negotiating for a wage increase.

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A new contract with Marriott International that will give housekeepers in San Francisco an eventual $4-an-hour increase and better protections against sexual harassment was approved Monday, ending a nine-week strike by 2,500 workers at seven hotels in that city.

The settlement in San Francisco concludes a nationwide walkout against the world’s largest hotel chain. At its peak the protest involved 7,700 workers at 23 hotels.

“It means so much to me,” said Larrilou Carumba, a single mother of three who had been earning $23.50 an hour after six years as a housekeeper at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.

Workers at the Marriott Marquis, along with the Marriott Union Square, the Palace Hotel, the St. Regis, the W and the Westin St. Francis, are set to return to their jobs Wednesday. “We look forward to welcoming our associates back at work,” said Connie Kim, a spokeswoman for Marriott. She declined to comment further.

Marriott International is the world’s largest hotel chain, with management or franchise agreements under 30 brands in 130 countries and territories. It had net profits in 2017 of $1.37 billion.

The dispute involved a range of Marriott brands in Waikiki and on Maui as well as Boston; Detroit; San Jose, Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco, in California.

The deals varied according to the cost of living and “union density” in each city, according to Rachel Gumpert, a spokeswoman for the Unite Here union. In San Francisco, she said, it provides “strong wage increases” for all workers, improved pensions and preservation of lifetime health care benefits.

A worker in San Francisco who retires while the new contract is in place will receive a pension of $50 per month for each year of employment, said Anand Singh, president of Unite Here Local 2, which represented the workers in San Francisco. Housekeepers, who are generally the lowest-paid workers, will receive increases starting at $1.75 an hour and growing to more than $4 an hour over the life of the four-year contract. The current median wage for housekeepers is $23 an hour, Gumpert said.

All employees who deal with guests one on one, such as housekeepers and workers who deliver room service or bags, will receive a silent GPS-enabled panic button to summon help if they feel unsafe, she said.

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